"The U.S. is accusing Russia of an elaborate plot to stage a fake attack that they could then use as a pretext for invasion," Brianna Keilar said this morning on CNN.
PENTAGON SPOKESMAN JOHN KIRBY: As part of this fake attack, we believe that Russia would produce a very graphic propaganda video including corpses and actors that would be depicting mourners and images of destroyed locations, as well as military equipment, at the hands of Ukraine or the West.
"So Russia is denying this claim by the Pentagon."
VLADIMIR CHIZHOV: I can assure you that Russia is never involved in any business of this kind. And there is no reason logically speaking that that might be taking place.
Natasha Bertrand explained.
"We're told the administration has gathered intelligence suggesting Russia has been preparing such a video, not that it has been made yet or the U.S. has this in their possession, but all signs on the ground point to Russia preparing to make this video in order to create a pretext for an invasion. For example, they have gathered evidence that Russia has already begun recruiting actors to act in this video, recruiting people to serve as mourners," she said.
"And the administration says that the intelligence shows that the video would include fake explosions. Very elaborate stuff. And of course they have been challenged on this in the last day or so because they have been asked by reporters to produce the underlying intelligence that they have to suggest that Russia is actually preparing to do this. But of course they say they cannot reveal their sources and methods and this information they released yesterday is as far as they're willing to go because it was declassified in order to prevent Russia from actually doing something like this.
"We have to remember that this is just the latest in a series of disclosures the U.S. has made to try to blunt the impact of any potential Russian action, provocation they would use to serve as a pretext for an invasion. False flag attacks in eastern Ukraine, to having people waiting in the wings to serve as government officials to replace the government in Kyiv. The information has been trying to get ahead of this. They say even if this video is never actually made, the idea that they released this intelligence that this is being planned could be enough to thwart Russia," Bertrand said.
"It's the oldest trick in the book," John Berman said.
"This is how the Nazis invaded Poland. They staged a fake raid at a radio station there and also said the Poles were committing genocide against ethnic German citizens there."